Behind The Scenes Look At Weather Teams Preparing For Tornadoes


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- Keeping you safe during tornado season takes a lot of behind the scenes work by the National Weather Service and our 13 News weather team.

The National Weather Service launches a weather balloon filled with hydrogen twice a day, at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m to help with weather forecasting. They also send it up when they are expecting severe weather. The balloon is tethered to a box that helps them with severe weather. The balloon sent up eventually bursts, sending the box back to the ground. Information it collects is sent back to a computer, but if you find one, they want you to send it in so they can reuse it.

The National Weather Service team in Topeka is gearing up for tornado season.

"Tornadoes are going to happen and we just need to be ready and be prepared," said Chad Omitt.

Chad Omit is the National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist. He and his team study computer model data to detect storms headed our way.

"I almost like to describe it as like an x-ray machine for thunderstorms. It allows us to see the thunderstorm. This is critical information a lot of people may not see this. This is a lot of time behind the scenes," Omitt says as he points to his computer data models.

13 News Chief Meteorologist Jeremy Goodwin also works behind the scenes, often collaborating with the National Weather Service team.

"We do communicate with the National Weather Service everyday, as to what their thoughts are, what our thoughts are. We exchange severe storm spotter reports," said Goodwin.

Omitt and Goodwin say it's important to always be prepared for tornadoes.

"The best way to stay safe is to have a plan in advance for your family," says Goodwin.

"Get in, get down, and cover up!" says Omitt.


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